Today I discovered that one of my favourite old Bollywood songs is in fact copied inspired by an even older German song. I’m a bit shocked but I think I will survive.
Anyway, I still like the Hindi one better. Which one do you like?
Happy 2012! Thank you so much for all your emails and comments.
I’m back in the new year with a special new year’s resolution: I’m going to post a Hindi video EVERY SINGLE DAY. If I miss one day, then I have to make up for it by posting two videos the next day. Please make me do it.
And tell me your new year’s resolutions in the comments.
In this video, you will learn how to talk about your marital status, that is whether you are married or not. You will also learn how to ask and say what your spouse’s name is. I’m trying something new with the transcript in this video. Let me know what you think. Sorry, the sound is still a bit low. But I will definitely fix it from the next video onwards. Enjoy!
We’ve already come across a few useful phrases in the previous lessons but we haven’t yet covered some of the most common and basic words and phrases. In the video for Lesson 6, we heard how to say quite a few new words and phrases, so the lesson notes in this case are really just to consolidate what we heard in the video and to help you remember it better by seeing things written down.
First of all we heard how to say yes and no:
Again we see the “n” on the end of haan which is pronounced as a soft nasal sound which we heard about in lesson 4, rather than as a hard “n” sound like on the end of “man”.
We also heard how to say please and thank you:
Although it’s good to know the words for “please” and “thank you”, you may notice that they are not said very often as it’s more common to use the respectful forms of pronouns and verbs to indicate politeness. But as a beginner, it doesn’t do any harm to be on the safe side when it comes to being polite, especially as it’s easy to make a mistake with different forms of verbs.
Another thing which is useful when you are first learning a language is to explain that you don’t know much of the language:
Mai bahut thori Hindi janta/i hoon – I know very little Hindi
Mai bahut thori Hindi bolta/i hoon – I speak very little Hindi
“Jaana” is the verb “to know” and “bolna” is the verb “to speak”. We won’t go into detail about how to use the different forms of the verb here but you’ll get to learn that in more detail in future lessons. But for now, just remember to adjust the “janta/i” or “bolta/i” depending on if you are male or female – “a” on the end for male and “i” on the end for female. “Bahut” is a very commonly used word which means “a lot” or “very” depending on the context. So here is means “very little” - “bahut thori”.
Hopefully you won’t need to say this sentence for too long as we continue to add more lessons!
If you’re struggling to communicate with someone here’s how to ask if they speak English:
Kya aap angrezi bolte hain? – Do you speak English?
Here we see the word “bolte” again, “speak”, which is the same as we learnt above but with the “e” ending for the respectful form. If you ask this in Hindi, even if you can’t say much else people will appreciate that you made the effort.
If someone tries to speak Hindi to you anyway, you may need to say:
Mai samjha/i nahee – I didn’t understand
Once you progress a bit further you may want to ask:
Kripaya ek bar aur kahiye – Please repeat
Kripaya dhire boliye - Please speak more slowly
“Kahiye” and “boliye” are the imperative forms of the verbs, indicating that you are requesting someone to do something. They are also the respectful form of the imperative as we are addressing someone as “aap”. We’ll come onto this in more detail in a later lesson but here we just want to concentrate on learning the phrases.
Finally we heard how to ask what something is called in Hindi when referring to an object:
“Issko Hindi me kya bolte hain?”
“Issko” means “this” , “me” is the word for “in” (pronounced as in “met” but without the t), and you’ll spot “bolte”, meaning to speak or say - so really we’re asking “how do you say this in Hindi?”. “Kya” is another a very useful word which means “what” but can often be used in a general sense to make a phrase into a question. In this case, it makes more sense to translate it as “how”.
The answer to the question is:
“Issko Hindi me ____ bolte hain”
In the video we heard the word “chashma” meaning “spectacles” but you can learn all sorts of other new words in this way.
You may wish to come back to this lesson for reference even once you progress further so it’s a good idea to bookmark it. And as usual, if you need any further advice or if you’re unsure about anything, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.
In Lesson 5 we heard how to ask where you are from and to say where we are from.
Aap kahaan se hain? - Where are you from?
Although part of the sentence is new, you will probably recognise one part of the sentence which we covered in the last lesson – the verb “to be”. As we explained, this is a very common verb and you will come across it again and again. In case you haven’t spotted it, it’s the first and last words of the sentence above “aap hain” which means “you are”.
In the English sentence, the verb ”to be” comes in the middle whereas in the Hindi sentence the word order is different. You will often find that the order we say the words in Hindi sentence is different to the English sentence but you’ll start to get used to that as we go along.
When answering the question, we also use the verb “to be”:
Mai England se hoon - I am from England
This leaves us with one word we didn’t come across before when we saw the answers to “how are you?” – the word “se”. This means “from”.You can also see this in the question sentence.
The final word in the question sentence which we haven’t seen before is “kahaan” - this means “where”.
Another way we could answer the question “where are you from?” is to say your nationality ie rather than “I am from England” you can say “I am English”:
Mai angrez hoon - I am English
This is even easier as we say it in exactly the same way as the answers we already learned in the lesson where we say how we are – simply using the verb “to be” and your nationality.
As we already covered in some detail in the previous lesson how to adjust the sentence depending on the person we are talking about, we’ll just cover that briefly here. You can practise this at the end, referring to the previous lesson notes if you need to. So if we want to ask where Hrishi is from, we say:
Hrishi kahaan se hain?
This is the same as when we asked the question for “you” as again we use the respectful form of “to be” as Hrishi is our teacher and we don’t know him that well. We could also ask:
Ve kahaan se hain? - Where is he from?
In most cases if you are asking where someone is from, the chances are you don’t know them well enough to use one of the more informal forms of “to be” so that makes things more straightforward.
To answer the question above:
Hrishi Hindustan se hain - Hrishi is from India
Hrishi Hindustani hain - Hrishi is Indian
Another word often used to refer to India in Hindi is “Bharat”.
Now we’ll add some vocabulary so you can learn the Hindi words for different countries and nationalities. These are often a variation on the English word so in this case you can often get away with saying the English word if you can’t remember the Hindi.
England = England, angrez = English
Amreeka = America, amreeki - American
Frans = France, fraansisi = French
In the video we heard a couple of more specific ways of asking someone where they are from:
Aap kis desh se hain? - Which country are you from?
Aap kis shahar se hain? - Which city are you from?
Aap kis gaanv se hain? - Which village are you from?
In these sentences “kis”means “which” and “desh”, “shahar”and“gaanv”mean “country”, “city” and “village” respectively.
If you prefer to stick with “aap kahaan se hain?” that’s fine but it’s useful to be aware of these other ways of asking in case someone asks you or you may find you want to know more specific information about someone.
So here is your chance to practise. Ask the following questions and answer in Hindi, using the two different ways to answer which we learnt above:
Where are you from?
Where is Claude from?
Where is Valentina from?
Where is he from?
Where is she from?
Where are they from?
If you are from a country which we haven’t told you above, please leave a comment and we’ll tell you how to say it.
In Lesson 1 we learnt how to say “how are you?” – “aap kaise hain?”.Here “aap” means “you”. The other pronouns in Hindi are shown in the box below:
tu, tum, aap
So we can also ask “vo kaisa hai?” – “how is he?”. Now we’ll explain a bit more about how the sentence changes depending on who we are talking about.
Kaisa means how and it varies according to the gender of the person you are asking about. If you are asking about someone male, use “kaisa”, if you are asking about someone female, use “kaisi” and to use the respectful or plural form, use “kaise”.
This is why in the first example, we say “aap kaise hain?”. This indicates that the person we are asking is someone that we don’t know very well or address in the respectful form for another reason, such as, if it is our teacher. This also applies to he and she. If it is a person we would address as aap, we would also use the respectful form when referring to them as he or she (eg. If we were to ask one of our fellow students about our teacher, we would say “vo kaise hain”). For more about when to use the respectful form, see the video for Lesson 4.
There are many more cases where you will see the endings of words changing with the gender of the subjects and objects of the sentence. So it’s useful to try and remember this here using this relatively simple example.
The other part of the sentence “how are you?” is the verb “to be”, in Hindi, “hona”. This is a very important verb to learn, as in other languages, it is used very often. We learnt the pronouns above. When using different pronouns, the form of the verb changes:
This is not so difficult once you get past the singular pronouns as with any plural pronouns we use the same form of the verb as we use for the respectful form - “hain”. If you are used to speaking English, it’s not always easy to get the pronunciation right for this form of the verb. Rather than pronouncing the n as in rain, it’s more of a nasal sound at the end of the word. This is also explained in Lesson 4. The same applies to the n on the end of hoon.
Putting all this together, you can now enquire about the wellbeing of anyone you like. Of course it’s unlikely you would ask “how am I?” or “how are we?” but just to demonstrate, we’ll include them below:
How am I?
Mai kaisa hoon?
Mai kaisi hoon?
How are you?
Tu kaisa hai?
Tu kaisi hai?
How are you?
Tum kaise ho?
Tum kaisi ho?
How are you?
Aap kaise hain?
Aap kaisi hain?
How is he?
Vo kaisa hai?
Vo kaisi hai?
How is he?
Vo kaise hain? (respectful)
Vo kaisi hain? (respectful)
How are we?
Hum kaise hain
Hum kaisi hain
How are you?
Aap kaise hain
Aap kaisi hain
How are they?
Vo kaise hain
Vo kaisi hain
Now that we have learnt the verb to be, we can also answer for anyone we like. Mai theek hoon, vo theek hai, Hrishi theek hain etc. It’s a bit boring to have to always be “fine” so here are some other ways to answer the question “aap kaise hain?”, remember to change the ending of the adjective depending if you are male or female although this is not possible for all the words below:
Mai achha/i hoon
I am good/well
Mai naaraaz hoon
I am angry
Mai beemaar hoon
I am ill
Mai khush hoon
I am happy
Mai bhookha/i hoon
I am hungry
Mai pyasa/i hoon
I am thirsty
Mai pareshaan hoon
I am worried
Mai chakit hoon
I am surprised
So now is your chance to practise. Try writing some answers for the questions below using the correct form of the verb to be and making sure to agree kaise (how) with the gender of the person being asked about: